Friday, December 4, 1998


If we are to continue to add new jobs, raise wages, cut poverty, and give families the tools they need to live up to their dreams, we must continue to help restore growth abroad and strengthen our economy at home. If we work together -- and we use Ame rica's momentum and confidence wisely -- I know we can do just that.

President Bill Clinton
December 4, 1998

Today, President Clinton holds a White House event to announce the release of a report by the Council of Economic Advisors (CEA) that shows the benefits the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the increase in the minimum wage have had on low-income famili es.

An Economic Strategy That Is Helping Working Americans. President Clinton's economic strategy of fiscal discipline, investments in our people, and opening markets abroad has helped spark an investment-led economic expansion of great strength. The success of this comprehensive economic strategy, supported by specific policy achievements such as the EITC and increase in the minimum wage, have dramatically improved the economic well-being of low income working families:

Expanding The EITC Has Helped Millions Of Americans. The effects of a strong economy have been reinforced by successful policies designed to make work pay. Expansions in the EITC since 1993 are supplementing the incomes of low-wage working par ents. The EITC is one of our most successful programs for fighting poverty and encouraging work:

The EITC And Minimum Wage Are Enhancing The Lives Of Low-Income Working Families. The increase in the minimum wage from $4.25 to $5.15 has been important in raising the earnings of low-wage workers. Empirical research suggests that recent m inimum wage increases have had little or no adverse effect on employment. The combined effects of the minimum wage and the EITC have dramatically increased the returns to work for families and children. Between 1993 and 1997, families with one child and one earner who worked full-time at the minimum wage experienced a 14 percent increase in their income, after inflation, just because of these two policies alone. Similar families with two children experienced a 27 percent increase in their income.

CEA Report on Expansions in the EITC and the Minimum Wage

The White House Briefing Room
The White House at Work Archives